COMMENTS

Drum Circle Distilling wants to sell you its award-winning rum

/
drum circle distilling

Troy Roberts, founder and CEO of Drum Circle Distilling, inside the Sarasota based distillery where Siesta Key Rum is produced on Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2013. (Herald-Tribune staff photo by Elaine Litherland)

Drum Circle Distilling’s special “distiller’s reserve” is perhaps one of the finest rums ever produced in the storied 500-year history of the noble beverage.

That’s the good news.

The bad news – as of last week there was only one small cask of the reserve, and a bit less after rum-god Troy Roberts graciously poured a few tots for tasting. More worrisome – right now, it’s not for sale.

This could all be changing soon.

Roberts founded Drum Circle Distilling in 2007, and serves as the firm’s CEO and head distiller.

He works long hours crafting small batches of his award-winning white, gold and spiced rum. The critics have taken notice and rewarded his efforts.

Roberts’ Siesta Key White Rum won the gold medal - Best in Class - at the 2011 RumXP International Tasting Competition in Miami. His Siesta Key Spiced Rum took the same award a year later.

“I’m most proud of this,” Roberts said, while pouring the golden liquor into small plastic tasting cups. The clear bottle was simply marked “distiller’s reserve” with a grease pencil.

Roberts bleeds a little spiced rum off each batch and adds it to a five-gallon charred-oak cask. Soon more will be filled.
The smaller casks age their contents more efficiently, quicker than a larger barrel.

“It’s like a mini-Solera,” Roberts said, of the Spanish practice of blending Sherry of different vintages in one cask.

A year from now, as long as the politicians in Tallahassee cooperate, Roberts could be selling the distiller’s reserve to the public.

It is definitely worth the wait.

Rum is one of the most complex of spirits, hence the appeal. In addition to the standard varieties – light, golden, dark, premium, spiced and more, there are anejos from Central and South America, rhum agricoles from former French islands and spirits such as aguardiente, which share the molasses base.

Roberts’ distiller’s reserve is a spiced rum, flavored with real honey and real vanilla, but the flavoring is so delicate and subtle, it’s almost an afterthought.

The bouquet hooks you immediately. It’s around 70 proof, but as smooth as a sip of warm water. Mixing this rum with anything – even ice – is a sin.

Demand for his three traditional rums is high.

Total Wine and More stores are now selling Drum Circle’s rums in Florida and 10 other states, and Disney World is using the spiced rum in their famous “Dole Whip” frozen desserts, but no distributor is likely to touch a very small batch of the distiller’s reserve, when Roberts gets one ready.

Instead, he’s looking to sell the liquor direct to his customers.

Currently, however, distillers aren’t allowed to sell to the public.

The practice could soon change, thanks to legislation introduced by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.

His bill, which passed its final committee this week and is ready to go to the House floor, would allow distillers to sell two bottles of liquor per customers, per visit.

“The house bill would allow us to have tasting rooms,” Roberts said. “In a tasting room, you could pick up your private distiller’s reserve.”

Last modified: April 17, 2013
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.
COMMENTS